• “By working together and sharing all of our expertise it is envisaged that our family of schools will continue to grow and develop providing exceptional learning opportunities for all of our pupils.” Jill Mason, Headteacher at Castle Primary School
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  • Why was Cmat Established?
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Why was Cmat Established?

The creation of Cmat was a natural progression of the work being done by the Senior Leadership Team at Congleton High School and it builds on their skills, expertise and proven track record in running a successful academy.

From the outset, they identified several future challenges and opportunities in educational provision in the Congleton area that could be met by the formation of Cmat:

  • Primary school conversion to academy status

The formation of Cmat provides suitable ‘good’ primary schools in the local area a simple route to academy status.  In joining the Trust, they can gain all of the freedoms associated with converting to an academy without the risks or burden of doing it alone.  Each proposal to expand the group will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and Cmat will carry out detailed due diligence checks to ensure that we are capable of supporting another Academy without weakening the group. 

In June 2014 Black Firs Primary School became the first school to join Cmat and convert to an academy, with Castle Primary School in nearby Mow Cop following suit in March 2015.  Other local primary schools are currently in discussion about joining.  Cmat has a flexible structure that allows member schools to retain their own identity and individual characteristics and yet take advantage of the benefits of collaborating within the one Trust, such as economies of scale or the sharing of staff, services and facilities. 

  • Vocational provision

Cmat identified that there has long been a lack of vocational provision in the town of Congleton.  Our young people have had to travel out of the town to access vocational courses.  To address this need, Cmat has established The Congleton College and is developing vocational courses and apprenticeships as an alternate career progression route for students.  The Congleton College opened its doors in September 2015 to the first cohort of students.

  • Expanding town

The town of Congleton is expanding rapidly and Cmat has identified many possible avenues for future expansion based on the local demand for school and college places.  Building is well underway on a development of over 200 houses, many of which are now completed, on land close to Congleton High School (Loachbrook Farm), and there are applications for a further 500 houses on adjacent farmland.  Demand for school places will therefore inevitably outstrip the current supply and the town of Congleton will need more schools.  Cmat, as a DfE approved New Academy Sponsor, will be well placed to bring proposals when the need arises.